I continued to practice the slower Krishnamacharya Ashtanga, long slow breathing, long stays but less asana... and without being practiced asana dropped away, advanced asana the first to go, that didn't concern me, intermediate asana followed, so be it. Practicing less asana was a conscious decision and practice itself was still a delight, disrupted somewhat perhaps but still present every day.
Perhaps practice was too delightful, too pleasant, less tapas.... discipline followed the lost asana the lack of tapas.
Yamas and niyamas are supposed to support our yoga practice, just as practice supports the yamaniyamas except it's not practice so much perhaps as the tapas aspect of practice that helps provide the discipline that in turn supports the yamaniyamas ( whatever form or name they take for you ) and that supports the practice of yoga.
And Japanese food IS wonderful, so many old favourite dishes to rediscover and then there is comfort eating, less water in the wine, an extra jug of sake, a cold beer more regularly than intended through the summer.
At first the weight crept back on, normally I would have felt it in my practice but I was practicing differently, it had less effect on the slower practice, not until I began to feel it in the pranayama did I grow too concerned.
I could have switched back to a month of full on Ashtanga and in a sense I was for a time, practicing at the local shala but an irritating and persistent summer rash put paid to that and I had to stop going to the shala and then I was worried about sweating too much and a recurrence of kidney stones.... and besides I felt I should be able to maintain my weight on a slower practice through more care in my eating. I should have been able to shouldn't I.
And the summer continued and more careful days would be followed by a weekend where the meals were larger than they should have been and washed down with more sake or beer than intended.
|Shiga prefecture last week|
We're not even talking that much, 6 kilo added to my old practice weight and not through what most would consider over eating or drinking just more than I had become accustomed to, a few bad snacking habits creeping in.
Tapas. Yes, a slower practice and an appropriate diet should be sufficient to maintain health, fitness and well-being but I'd let go of the tapas aspect of the practice and lost discipline.
This morning I practiced full vinyasa, on the count, in fact I had to reinstall John Scott's app because I'd forgotten the count for some of the asana.
One practice and there was the tapas just where I'd left it, those familiar minor aches and pains of coming back to practice and the "...do I really want to do this", coming up seemingly after every other asana. And it was a mess, oh God, has have I allowed my practice to slip this much, I was aware I'd lost Marichi D and Supta Kurmasana but by that much! Hooking the last joint of the finger on the toe barely counts for badha padmasana.... but oh the delight of taking finishing long and slow after the tapas of Primary and half second..... and savasana, what a wonderful, well earned savasana.
Full vinyasa Primary and half 2nd series with a slow finishing in a couple of hours followed by pranayama, Ashtanga!
And with Simon Borg Olivier's abdominal breathing a mostly dry yoga towel.
Ramaswami talks of tapas also, spending five minutes or even ten in an on-one-leg asana, a five minute utkatasana perhaps but this is the tapas I've know.... and loved,
So back to a Charles Mingus Ashtanga practice of shifting pace picking up the beat through the main series, slowing it down at maha mudra/janu Sirsasan and baddha konasana and in a long slow finish, this is practice now at least until the discipline comes back, the yamas and niyamas, pratyahara.
|Mingus with Bird|
See this post for Krishnamacharya, Pattabhi Jois and Ramaswami on the yamas and niyams